One of my great pleasures at Grand Turk has been playing on our standup paddleboard, aka SUP.Just getting the thing to Grand Turk was a bit intimidating at first. I knew I couldn’t easily get a rigid, ten-foot-long, thirty-three-inch-wide, surfboard onto the local flight and shipping something that big and fragile would be possibly more expensive than the cost of the board. Problem solved. I got an inflatable that fits into a backpack. Xterra out of San Diego, California, makes a reasonably priced inflatable that fits everything, including the pump, into an airline friendly, piece of backpack luggage. I got it onto all the flights and it even works as a backpack while riding the bicycle so I can explore some of the more remote places on the island.
Using the SUP on Grand Turk has been another learning experience. It’s windy. Very windy, and windy most of the time. We are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. SUPs are not so easy with wind and especially when my 6’5” frame catches a lot of it. Right out in front of the house, in the evening, especially, it’s not too bad near shore. We are on the leeward side. Once you get out 300 yards, it’s a different story, and the wind wants to take you away from the island. The most protected places to use the SUP are in the two main inlets, North Creek and South Creek.
North Creek is much larger of the two. Both have mangrove lined shores with quiet pockets of tidelands. Both have very good birdwatching. Both are a bit hard to navigate to the first time. I’d ask a local. I just load the SUP in the backpack, get on a bike and ride there. Both are about a 15-minute bike ride from Seasongs. It takes about ten minutes to unpack and blow up the SUP and lock up the bike and gear and I’m off. My next step is to fish from the SUP. There are supposedly both Tarpon and Bonefish in both inlets. I will see.
There is also surfing… I am not including any photos of my attempts at surfing on the SUP yet. Too embarrassing. We have three rid-able breaks that I know about so far at Grand Turk. The smallest of these is right in front of Seasongs and it takes quite a big swell for it to work. Even if it is big on the other breaks, the biggest I’ve seen in front of the house is about 2 feet. At one foot it is too small and weak to carry a board. I still try. Next time I’m there and we have a swell, I’m trying the bigger break at the north end of Governor’s beach.